Market attack kills 41 people in Iraq

An attack on a Baghdad market killed at least 41 people Monday, police and hospital officials confirmed.

Market attack kills 41 people in Iraq

Most of the victims were believed to be Shias.

Monday attacks in the small town of Mahmoudiya, 20 miles south of Baghdad, began with a brief mortar barrage, before an armed assault by a group of unidentified gunmen who killed three Iraqi soldiers at a checkpoint, and then stormed the market, firing rocket propelled grenades.

The attack also included a car bomb blast near the market.

Iraq's Shia television station, Al-Forat, reported that the attack killed 72 people not 41, quoting members of the Shia community blaming Sunni Arabs for the attacks, and criticising the government's incompetence and failure to stop ongoing sectarian tension which has claimed the lives of many innocent people, including women and children.

Yesterday, a man blew up himself inside a cafe crowded with Shias in Tuz Khormato, a mostly Turkomen city northern Iraq, killing 26 people and injuring dozens of others, an Iraqi general said.

The attack in Tuz Khormato, 130 miles north of Baghdad, took place at about 8:30 pm Sunday in the outdoor market, Maj. Gen. Anwar Mohammed Amin said.

The explosion resulted in the collapse of the ceiling of the one-story building.

Rescue workers are still searching the debris looking for the dead or injured.

• Oil Ministry official kidnapped

Meanwhile, gunmen kidnapped an oil Ministry official, the second major kidnapping this week.

Adel Kazzaz, director of the North Oil Co., which runs Iraq's oil fields around the northern city of Kirkuk, was abducted shortly after he left the Oil Ministry in eastern Baghdad on Monday, according to ministry spokesman Assem Jihad.

Gunmen attacked his bodyguards and took him away.

Iraq's northern oil fields had been subject to repetitive attacks that damaged pipelines and other infrastructure.

On Saturday, gunmen kidnapped the head of Iraq's National Olympic Committee and 30 other employees, six of whom have already been released.

Sectarian tension, which has surged since February 22 attack on the revered al-Askari Shrine in the Iraqi city of Samarra, continues in the war-devastated country, despite the government's "security crackdown".

Reports say that thousands of Iraqis are fleeing the capital to escape the deadly violence and almost daily explosions, which started in recent days targeting Iraqi civilians more than the U.S.-led occupation forces.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16